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The light from the Sun seems regular and steady.
A journalist is an essential element in any responsible government. These people evaluate programs and activities the way food blenders process food. Tom Siegfried is a journalist but his target is not the government; it's physics and cosmology. He is gentler than a food processor and in Strange Matters, Undiscovered Ideas at the Frontiers of Space and Time he examines current and historical programs and activities, but of a scientific nature. He provides, like any good journalist, enough information to allow a reader to develop their own opinion, but not so much so as to preclude any choices.
The light from the Sun seems regular and steady, but research from the University of Southern California paints a different portrait of a dynamic and chaotic star that experiences a range of events. Small forces acting deep inside the Sun can lead to significant changes on its surface, causing the flares and coronal mass ejections that can strike the Earth. scientists are still trying to understand if there's a connection to the Sun's 11-year cycle of sunspots and temperature changes on the Earth.
Researchers from the University of Chicago are about to run the most complex simulation of a supernova ever attempted. The simulation will use 2.7 million hours of supercomputing time from the U.S. Department of Energy; computers which are used to simulate nuclear weapon explosions. scientists think that a supernova explodes inside the core of a White Dwarf star, and then expands towards the surface like an inflating balloon, but the exact stages are still unknown. The results from the simulation should be ready by summer.
After more than six months in space on board the International Space Station, the crew of Expedition 8 landed safely today in north-central Kazakhstan. Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, as well as ESA Astronaut Andre Kuipers touched down in their Soyuz capsule at 0012 UTC (8:12 pm EDT), and were pulled out minutes later. A helium leak reported on the Soyuz capsule didn't cause any problems with the landing.
The Sea Launch Odyssey launch platform and Commander ship arrived at the equator on Thursday to make preparations to launch the DIRECTV 7S satellite. If all goes well, a Zenit-3SL rocket will lift off from Odyssey on Tuesday, May 4, carrying the 5,483 kg satellite into a geosynchronous orbit. The DIRECTV 7S satellite will provide communication and broadcast services from its position at 119-degrees West longitude.
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